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Lost a golf ball 20 years ago? It maybe landed inside this southwestern Ontario tree | CBC News


Scott Cameron made an unusual discovery while chopping wood at Walkerton Golf & Curling Club in Bruce County, Ont.: a golf ball embedded inside of a tree.

Cameron believes the Top Flite ball became lodged in the tree about 20 years ago, based on the growth rings he counted around it. 

“It was right in the middle of this tree,” said Cameron. “When the the wood split open, out popped a perfect golf ball with a perfect little cavern, like a mould in the middle of the wood.”

A white golf ball with some dirt on it, not perfectly round.
Cameron said the golf ball was egg-shaped when it popped out, but has returned to a perfectly round shape since being removed from the tree. (Scott Cameron)

The discovery also triggered a long-forgotten memory: a stray ball he hit on that very fairway that landed right in the crotch of a tree, twenty years ago. 

“I’m not saying it’s the same ball,” he said with a laugh, “because statistically that’s impossible.”

wood (Cameron Scott )

Not a golfer, not an arborist

So how did Cameron, an economist in the UK, wind up chopping wood from a golf course during his holiday?

“So my dad isn’t much of a golfer but he likes to be involved din the community. And one of the ways he gets involved is to volunteer my labour to the golf and curling club in town,” said Cameron, who grew up on a beef farm north of the town and returns twice a year to help his parents out. 

golf ball in tree
The golf ball left behind a mould, or cavern, when it popped out. “From the rings, I figured it must have been there about twenty years,” said Cameron, adding that his counting was “a ballpark” estimate. (Scott Cameron)

Cameron said the free labour he provides, volunteered by his father, has become a “running joke.”

About three or four years ago, the golf course needed some trees removed that were looking a bit precarious, he said. 

“They were worried these trees would fall onto the course. So, again, my old man said that we’ll take care of it for free in exchange for the wood, which we burn the winter.”

A hydraulic wood cutter with chopped wood strewn on the grass around it.
“Last week, we hooked up our old hydraulic wood splitter to the back of the tractor and the rest is history,” said Cameron. (Submitted by Scott Cameron)

Cameron said he returns home every summer to help split the wood for winter. 

“I know from just doing a lot of chainsawing that we’ll often hit nails, we’ll hit old fences that are inside the tree,” he said, adding that inclusions aren’t rare, but “this was something I wasn’t expecting”

Cameron gave the wood and golf ball back to the golf course, hoping they might put it on display.

Afternoon Drive5:15Lost golf ball discovered inside of a tree

A lost golf ball has been found on the 3rd hole of the Walkerton Golf Club. Not on the green, not in a pond, but inside of a tree. Scott Cameron made the unusual discovery last Wednesday and joins host Allison Devereaux to share more about the unusual story.



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